Stop 22: Running To Fight Veteran Suicide

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Recently I completed my first 5K.  Well…that’s not entirely true.

Running has been a familiar part of most of my life adult life.  I’ve ran 5K (and much further) on many occasions.  Up until the last couple years running had been a fairly consistent habit.

However, my recent run was the first time I ran in  an organized race during my time after the Army.  I suppose pseudo-organized may be the more accurate term.  I ran a virtual 5K.

If you’ve never heard of a virtual 5K you’re not alone.  I never had either until about two weeks ago.  I first discovered the term virtual run through my News Feed on Facebook.

A virtual run is an organized race that allows participants to register and run during a designated time frame, at a location of their own choosing.  Often a virtual run is used to raise money for a selected charity.  Run times are determined, and submitted by the individual participants; usually on the honor system.

Several of my friends are avid runners, taekwondo athletes, and prior service or currently serving members of the military.  It’s not surprising that my News Feed is often filled with great memories from their athletic adventures.

When I saw Virtual Strides cross my News Feed promoting a run to support K9S For Warriors I was immediately intrigued.

As a member of the veteran community the cause especially hit home for me.  Here is the video that inspired me to sign up.

When you sign up for a run with Virtual Strides they send you a digitized bib that you can choose to download and print as you wish.  I think it’s a great personal touch.  Here’s a copy of mine from the Stop 22 Virtual Run.


Stop 22 is a movement that’s rapidly gaining movement inside and out of the confines of the veteran community.  If you’re unfamiliar with the movement it’s an effort aimed at stopping the cycle of suicide that continues to tear at our community of warriors.  22 lives a day is an unacceptable loss of a great generation to this nation.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to take a stand in this fight.

According to Virtual Strides’ website, the run raised $52,066.00 for the cause.  How awesome is that!?!



  1. mike

    Nice article from a fellow Vet. I’m glad you participated in the run and are spreading the word. If you are interested, please take a look at my (brand new, bare-bones, first post) blog about Veterans in fitness.

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